Synopses & Reviews
Carl Webster, the hot kid of the marshals service, is polite, respects his elders, and can shoot a man driving away in an Essex at four hundred yards. Carl works out of the Tulsa, Oklahoma, federal courthouse in the 1930s, the period of America's most notorious bank robbers. Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson, those guys.
Carl wants to be America's most famous lawman. He shot his first felon when he was fifteen years old. With a Winchester.
Jack Belmont wants to rob banks, become public enemy number one, and show his dad, an oil millionaire, he can make it on his own. With tommy guns, hot cars, speakeasies, cops and robbers, and a former lawman who believes in vigilante justice, all played out against the flapper period of gun molls and Prohibition, The Hot Kid is Elmore Leonard the true master at his best.
Performed by Arliss Howard
"Leonard's 40th novel, set in the world of 1930s gangsters and gun molls, features characterizations so deft and true you can smell the hair oil on the dudes and the perfume on the dames. Young Carlos Webster tangles with his first gangster at 15, when bank robber Emmet Long robs an Okmulgee, Okla., store, kills an Indian policeman and takes away Carlos's ice cream cone. Seven years later, Carlos, now Carl, a newly minted deputy U.S. marshal, gets his revenge by gunning Long down, an act that wins him the respect of his employers and the adulation of the American public, who follow his every quick-draw exploit in the papers and True Detective magazine. Cinematically, Leonard introduces his characters Carl's colorful pecan-farmer father, Virgil; Jack Belmont, ne'er-do-well son of a rich oilman; True Detective writer Tony Antonelli; Louly Brown, whose cousin marries Pretty Boy Floyd in small, self-contained scenes. As the novel moves forward, these characters and others begin to interact, forming liaisons both romantic and criminal. At the stirring conclusion, scores are settled and the good and the bad get sorted out in satisfactorily violent fashion. The writing is pitch-perfect throughout: 'It was his son's quiet tone that made Virgil realize, My Lord, but this boy's got a hard bark on him.' The setting and tone fall somewhere between Leonard's early westerns and his more recent crime novels, but it's all pure Leonard, and that means it's pure terrific." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[The] hottest kid turns out to be the one doing the writing....[A] quieter, deeper, more sanguine novel than Get Shorty
fans are used to, one with more heft but less hair-trigger repartee than Mr. Leonard usually delivers." Janet Maslin, The New York Times
"You certainly wouldn't expect [Leonard] to have produced his best novel at the age of 79, but he seems to have done it....The Hot Kid is full of textured characters....Leonard's prose is as lean and clean as ever....And the old guy's still got plenty of bite." Stephen King, The Boston Globe
"As always, Leonard's prose seems effortless, his dialogue is perfect, and his humor is as dry as a moonshine martini....[A] terrific pleasure." Booklist
"[W]hen Elmore Leonard's new novel The Hot Kid hits the stores...you will see once again that after all the books and all the years, Leonard remains one of the great American writers." New York Daily News
"Leonard's encyclopedic knowledge of crime history and wry humor make his novels reading experiences to savor....[A] winner in the tradition of Get Shorty
and Be Cool
." Library Journal
"[G]enial and laid-back. The whole sepia-toned caravan...is so relaxed that even the most violent felonies may leave you smiling. Leonard's gentle epic is as restorative as a month in the country." Kirkus Reviews
"[B]rims with the sly humor, spare prose and razor dialogue we expect from the master....[A] self-assured work by an author at the top of his game. Leonard isn't trying to impress anyone, except maybe the 1930s boy he once was..." Los Angeles Times
"[A] novel that, not very far beneath the surface, is all about style, literary and otherwise....The Hot Kid is noirish and even a little pulpy at times, in the fashion of '30s movies and detective magazines." Charles McGrath, The New York Times
The New York Times bestselling master of the crime novel strikes again with this story, set in Oklahoma in the 1920s, that introduces listeners to one of the toughest lawmen out of the west. Unabridged. 8 CDs.
Carlos Webester was 15 the day he witnessed his first murder but it wouldn't be his last. It was also his first introduction to the notorious gunman, Emmet Long. By the time Carlos is 20, he's being sworn in as a deputy US marshall and now goes by the name of Carl. And Emmet Long has hooked up with the no-good son of an oil millionaire and the two of them rob banks. Carl Webster and Emmet Long may be on opposite sides of the law but their long time game of cat and mouse will turn them both into two of the most famous names in crime and punishment.
About the Author
Elmore Leonard wrote forty-five novels and nearly as many western and crime short stories across his highly successful career that spanned more than six decades. Some of his bestsellers include Road Dogs, Up in Honeys Room, The Hot Kid, Mr. Paradise, Tishomingo Blues
, and the critically acclaimed collection of short stories Fire in the Hole
. Many of his books have been made into movies, including Get Shorty, Out of Sight
, and Rum Punch
, which became Quentin Tarantinos Jackie Brown
, the hit series from FX, is based on Leonards character Raylan Givens, who appears in Riding the Rap, Pronto
and the short story “Fire in the Hole”. He was a recipient of the National Book Foundations Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, the Lifetime Achievement Award from PEN USA, and the Grand Master Award of the Mystery Writers of America. He was known to many as the ‘Dickens of Detroit and was a long-time resident of the Detroit area.
Versatile actor Arliss Howard has appeared in films by many renowned directors, including Steven Spielberg, in Amistad and Jurassic Park: The Lost World; Stanley Kubrick, in Full Metal Jacket; and Oliver Stone, in Natural Born Killers.